Football

Rohit is La Liga’s first non-footballer brand ambassador

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La Liga got an Indian face to promote the league among the followers and fans here. Cricketer Rohit Sharma was signed on as the first non-footballer brand ambassador across the world. Jose Antonio Cachaza, MD, La Liga India, explained the reason behind the business decision.

The fascination with watching televised foreign league games is growing among young fans and the numbers is getting noticed.

“We want to connect with cricket fans through Rohit Sharma. Cricket is the first sport here with 1.4 billion people following it. We can show the cricket fans that it is possible to have a second sport, in the form of La Liga football,” he said.

The India opener was given the La Liga jersey and the official league football afterwards.

Cachaza added: “He is the first non-football ambassador across the world. He is active on Facebook and we want him to post his views on La Liga so that fans can follow the league through him.”

Incidentally, the league has a broadcast partnership with Facebook, free viewership of 300-plus games is provided.

Premier League is the most followed competition in India and Bundesliga and Serie A are making efforts to capture attention here.

The La Liga India MD said: “In Asia, we are behind another league. I don’t want to take names. We want to catch up. This (popular Indian cricketer brand ambassador) is a way to get there.”

Replying to a query about the link with football, Rohit said: “I have been following football on television from the time I was growing up. The passion to win displayed by the players in La Liga attracted me. The sport has a link with cricket, in the sense, 11 players have a goal to chase, which is to win the game.”

Rohit fancies himself as a midfielder in the Indian cricket team’s warm-up football sessions.

“Zidane is the reason for me watching football on television. I was attracted to his skill and for the same reason, Real Madrid is my favourite club team and Spain my favourite national team.”

He pointed that as far as progress of Indian football is concerned, the sport is taking gigantic leap since improvement in infrastructure happened and the introduction of the ISL.

“Indian cricket too needed time to develop, there is a vast difference in how cricket was in the 1930s. Indian footballers have the hunger to excel and like every sport, development will happen with time. We need to be patient.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:22:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/rohit-is-la-ligas-first-non-footballer-brand-ambassador/article30287097.ece

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